Woman working from home Woman working from home

Mental health in the workplace

As corporate responsibility has evolved over the years, the way companies approach mental health in the workplace has evolved as well. Discussing mental health and well-being may have been taboo in the past, but increased stressors due to the pandemic and simply because of everyday life responsibilities and pressures have increased the need to address mental health in the workplace.

As companies continue to work remotely during COVID-19 and reconsider the need for an office altogether, employees have had to adjust to sharing their space and attention with others at home while juggling workday tasks. Also, economic ups and downs paired with political and social unrest seen in recent years have also taken their toll. And for many, life before the pandemic was already a complicated balancing act of its own—running kids to school, practices and other activities, being present at work and at home, making smart decisions in an increasingly complex financial landscape, taking care of mental and physical health and so much more.

With all of this at the forefront of our daily lives, considering mental health has become more important for many working people. That is why employees are searching for organizations that understand the growing need to address mental health in the workplace, and that are working to offer their employees resources to manage and improve their mental health.

So if you haven’t already, now is the time to start promoting mental health in your workplace and help to take care of your employees so they can put their best foot forward in all aspects of life.

Mental health in the workplace

The effect of poor mental health on your employees’ quality of life could negatively damage their potential for success.

Mental health issues vary by age and demographics, and can affect anyone’s work if they go untreated.

For example, workers with ADHD are more likely to experience complacency in the workplace, job dissatisfaction and might change jobs frequently.1 Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates around 300 million employees from all corners of the world experience depression, which can make focusing at work more difficult.2 Because mental health has traditionally been an off-limits subject at work, many employees don’t take a proactive approach.

One study showed that 60 percent of adults didn’t receive care because they couldn’t easily find resources, afford the associated costs or take time off work to participate. Additionally, those employees were concerned about the confidentiality of their information with their employer and how that could affect their ability to keep their jobs.3

Unfortunately, many employer-sponsored offerings do not cover mental health care, so there is room for improvement in this area.

Mental health screening tools

But don’t worry, you can start the journey to help your employees manage their mental health today.

See if you can offer your employees a mental health screening with minimized out-of-pocket cost to them.

A mental health screening, or a psychological evaluation, is an exam of emotional health. It can help employees take steps to identify disorders including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and more. Identifying these disorders empowers the employee to get help, find a treatment plan and take back control of their mental well-being.

Find out how wellness screenings can help your employees identify potential risk factors early.

Programs like Go365® help support mental health as well, by offering classes, activities and resources to your employees to help them work on their mental well-being.

Employee Assistance Programs in the workplace

Another option to help employees with their mental health is to introduce an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

EAPs support employees in dealing with personal and work-related concerns that can increase their stress and lessen their productivity. Many of Humana’s plans include the support of Humana EAP, which can help employees with issues of well-being, stress and productivity as well as offering family support and financial planning assistance. These services and resources help address mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, family matters, chemical dependency and financial difficulties and planning.

Helping your employees improve mental health

Outside of programs, employers can promote mental health in the workplace in a variety of ways.

Consider offering flexible work hours, promoting remote work options and encouraging employees to use their paid time off (PTO). If possible, in the office, you can offer yoga classes, healthy snack options, free or reduced access to fitness centers, meditation rooms and transportation assistance.

Additionally, creating wellness programs like Go365 can be helpful. Wellness programs can help employees stay active, track sleep patterns, learn meditation skills, provide coping mechanisms and more.

Learn more about mental health in the workplace in other Go365 articles. You can contact your Go365 sales rep to discuss other Humana products that can help you create customized programs that better fit your employees’ mental health needs by filling out this formOpens in new window.

This communication provides a general description of certain identified insurance or non-insurance benefits provided under one or more of our health benefit plans. Our health benefit plans have exclusions and limitations and terms under which the coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, refer to the plan document or call or write your Humana insurance agent or the company. In the event of any disagreement between this communication and the plan document, the plan document will control.

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana EAP, Go365 and Work-Life Services. Personal information about participants remains confidential according to all applicable state and federal laws, unless disclosure is required by such laws.

1Maureen Cadorette, MPH, PhD, RN, COHN-S1 and Jacqueline Agnew, MPH, PhD, RN, COHN-S, “Mental Health in the Workplace,” last accessed March 2021, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2165079917716188Opens in new window

2“Improving mental health in the workplace,” The Lancet, last accessed March 2021, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32807-6/fulltextOpens in new window

3Maureen Cadorette, MPH, PhD, RN, COHN-S1 and Jacqueline Agnew, MPH, PhD, RN, COHN-S, “Mental Health in the Workplace,” last accessed March 2021, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2165079917716188Opens in new window

Learn more about how wellness impacts your workplace.

Workplace wellness